What Types of Professional Organizations and Associations Should One Join While Obtaining Criminal Justice Degree?

Individuals who are in the process of obtaining a degree in criminal justice should note that there are a wide variety of professional organizations and associations for criminal justice that they can join. Joining these types of institutions would be prudent for many reasons, including the fact that doing so functions as a form of networking which can help the graduate determine which type of criminal justice career they would like to pursue. Below you will find a list of professional organizations and associations that individuals pursuing a degree in criminal justice should consider joining.

National Criminal Justice Association

The National Criminal Justice Association is an organization based in Washington, D.C. The NCJA represents local, state, and tribal governments with their crime control and prevention issues. The members of NCJA work within various sectors of the juvenile justice and criminal community, including corrections, law enforcement, courts, prosecution, defense, and victim-witness services. They also work within educational institutions. Additionally, there are several local, state, and federally elected officials who hold membership with the organization. Students who opt to become members attain several benefits, some of which include:

•A subscription to the NCJA’s newsletter, Justice Bulletin
•Participation in the organization’s online community, Connect2Justice
•Discounted registration rates for regional conferences

American Probation and Parole Association

The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) is an association comprised of individuals from Canada and the United States that play an active role in parole, probation, and community-level corrections. The APPA works to empower, challenge, and serve members through education, communication and training. Additionally, the APPA acts as a conduit for ideas, support, and information while also developing models and standards. Its constituents represent every level of government, which includes the local, state, legislative, judicial, executive, and federal levels.

American Society of Criminology (ASC)

The American Society of Criminology (ASC) is an organization that places primacy on criminology by embracing professional, scientific, and scholarly knowledge regarding the control, prevention, treatment, and etiology of delinquency and crime. The organization’s primary objective is to cultivate a multidisciplinary forum that facilitates criminology research, education, and study. Members include students, academicians, and practitioners who operate within many sectors of the criminal justice field.


SEARCH is a nonprofit organization that works to offer assistance to first responder, public safety, homeland security and justice practitioners with any and all information-sharing initiatives they may have. To accomplish its objective, SEARCH offers resources, models, and technical assistance designed to improve the process of information exchange amongst local, state, and tribal public safety and law enforcement representatives and entities. SEARCH also addresses contemporary public safety, first responder, and justice laws, procedures, and policies as pertinent events and issues give shape and substance to the public safety and justice sectors.

More Organizations and Associations

Students who are interested in accessing even more professional organizations and associations for criminal justice can visit the National Criminal Intelligence Resource Center.


If you have given any consideration to ways that you can begin building a career in the field of criminal justice, you should note that joining a professional organization or association can help you accomplish your vocational objective. Now that you have a basic awareness of various professional organizations and associations for criminal justice, you can begin the process of determining which ones would be most appropriate for you to join and participate in.